We're on a mission to create a moist red velvet! Most recipes that you'll find online are very dry, so I decided to create my own, based by taking bits and pieces of recipes and putting it together. This one I made was almost there. It was relatively moist, but just a few more tweaks and I think it'd be perfect! I haven't had the perfect one yet, even from a bakery. Sprinkles is good, but it's a bit too greasy. As you may already know, red velvet is supposed to be dense, but I kind of want mine to be a little bit more fluffy like the Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Red Velvet. Yes, I like the cake from a box...
I wish I could say that I adapted this recipe from somewhere, but it's kind of hard for me to pin point where I got it. I just made it up...
½ C (1 stick) room temp butter
1 ¼ C vegetable oil
1 C sugar
1 ½ t vanilla extract
3 T cocoa powder
2 Tbsp red food coloring - I use Smart and Final's coloring, so it's a bit more concentrated
15 oz (4 C) cake flour
1 ½ t salt
1 ½ c buttermilk
1 ½ t baking soda
1 ½ t vinegar
Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans with liners. Sift flour and salt and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until very fluffy and pale. Mix in oil and buttermilk. Add eggs one at a time, scraping often. Scraping is the most important thing you can do to make this came come out right! Mix together vanilla, red, and cocoa and add gradually with the mixer going. Scrape again. On low, add the flour in three additions, scraping after each time. Take the mixture off the machine and mix by hand, making sure the bottom of the bowl has been scraped completely. In a small dish, quickly mix soda and vinegar. Pour into the cake batter and fold in by hand completely. Work quickly but thoroughly. If the soda is not completely incorporated, the cake will not rise evenly. Scoop into cupcake pans (about 2/3 full) and bake immediately. Should take about 15-20 minutes. Cake should spring back when touched and a cake tester should come out clean.
And to top off a red velvet cupcake, you have to have cream cheese frosting! I don't know about you, but most of the recipes out there have way too much powdered sugar in them, making it too sweet. The only thing I like about them is the sugary crust. So to make it less sweet, I was thinking of either a Swiss meringue base, but I decided to try out Annie's mascarpone suggestion this time around. I went searching for a recipe and found one at Epicurious.com and I made a couple minor changes. Oooh it is yum yum!
Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone (Italian cream cheese, available at most grocery stores)
In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the mascarpone on very low speed until just combined. (Be careful; once you've added the mascarpone, excessive beating can make the frosting curdle.) Stir in the vanilla.